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Blast of Silence

Posted by martinteller on July 24, 2010

This is a prime example of why I plan to extend my noir education far beyond the TSPDT “Quintessential” list.  Lists can be great starting points, but they don’t cover everything.  Blast of Silence didn’t make the list, but it’s a wonderful slice of noir.  Allen Baron directed, wrote and starred as a hit man who struggles with his sense of humanity.  The film is gray, gritty and gloomy, augmented by a smoky jazz score and terrific use of location shots.  This is not the romanticized vision of New York that you see in Manhattan, but a more down-to-earth, personal viewpoint.  Most notable is the narration.  Voice-over is a common noir characteristic, but rarely is it used so liberally, and even rarer is the use of the second person voice.  It’s very existentialist, and puts you right inside Frankie’s mind.  While I imagine the movie would work quite well without any narration at all, its unusual nature really adds something.  A very compelling character study that simultaneously feels polished and rough around the edges.  Rating: 9


One Response to “Blast of Silence”

  1. […] 29. Blast of Silence (1961, Allen Baron) […]

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